Tom Petty is singing about the vampires walking through the Valley and I am lost in thought about walking down Ventura Boulevard somewhere around 3 AM or so.
Might have been a little earlier but we had gone to the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show so who knows.
To my left there is a guy talking about the founders of the company I work for and I am scratching my head about why he says their childhood sounds familiar because he grew up in an evangelical household and they’re Jewish men from New York.
Their story feels intimately familiar as do their speech patterns and references which don’t sound like a guy from the Faith Baptist Evangelical Church of the lower panhandle. Could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing it.
Meanwhile the same guy wants to know why I smile at certain parts of the song. I tell him I wasn’t aware I was doing it and he says “you sure were.”
“Tom is singing about home, I used to see him around town occasionally. You know, the founders used to live in my hometown too. They came here when they were starting the business. Their story is different from mine, but close enough it feels familiar, almost meant to be in a way.”
There is a pause and he asks if I believe that some things are meant to be, soul mates and all that woo woo stuff.
“Some of it.”
Doc tells me I need to choose between Covid or a heart attack and I tell him I had a test in Grapevine eight years ago that showed no blockages.
“That was eight years ago. You’re eight years older and not that same man anymore.”
“Yeah, I had more hair on my melon and now it fell on my face.”
“You could die if you don’t take this seriously.”
“I could but I don’t expect Covid or a heart attack to take me out at this age. Got multiple shots for the one and had my heart removed for the other so we’re good.”
He makes a face, shakes his head and I tell him I won’t listen to a lecture from parents, kids, lovers, former lovers, friends, bus drivers, teachers, admirals, janitors or Judy from the board.
“That is quite a list.”
I nod, smile and try not to slam the door as I leave.
The nurse looks oddly familiar and I ask how we know each other. “I worked for Dr. Galos.”
“Galos, my pediatrician?”
“You must have started nursing at 12.”
One of my old college professors said to write a truth or a great lie or maybe I read that on a Bazooka wrapper, hard to remember.
I like the idea and sometimes I wonder if that describes half of what we see on Facebook. Wonder how much is truth and how much is less truth.
Know one guy who writes about his amazing marriage and wonder who he is trying to convince because I don’t buy it. Won’t give you all I know but I see a facade and shrug my shoulders because it is not my business.
But maybe his great lie helps him to deal with his truth. Wouldn’t surprise me because I have been around long enough to know more about reality than I once did.
Long enough to know that one of the hardest things you can do is try to live the life you want to and not the one that others want you to.
Wrote about that the other day and almost deleted it all because it almost felt too honest and left me feeling too naked.
Said screw it and left it because some things have to be aired so that you can see them in both sunlight and darkness.
Gave a presentation and shared pieces of personality with the good folks on the other side.
Couldn’t decide if they were bored, amused, bewildered or bemused and let loose with a few things just to see if it would garner something more than than I was getting.
It is different doing these things online instead of in person. Requires a slightly different skill set and a bit of effort to determine if the message is heard, understood and accepted.
Have to remind myself that I have taken a partial vow of silence in meetings. In order to move them along I don’t ask questions or comment unless I think they will advance the conversation, build rapport or understanding.
Maybe the others are doing the same or maybe my voice is similar to a half doze of Ambien. Some might take that as an offensive description but if I could confirm that to be so I would consider monetizing it.
Why pay for pills if I can tell you a story that puts you to sleep. Got to work all of the angles and not just some of them.
Which reminds me of another moment in which I accidentally wrote “work the angels” and was chastised by a female professor for not being a gentleman. That was a genuine mistake made during a time when I couldn’t blame spellcheck but could blame beer.
Yeah, wrote a few papers while sharing pitchers with some of the guys. Hell, some of them figured out pretty quickly that I could fill a page with prose faster than most and that my half-assed effort was better than their focused work.
Wrote this nonsense in about 25 minutes but that includes two interruptions and a pause to decide whether to include this Neil Diamond song as part of it.
Sometimes you pick up the pen and sometimes you pick up the ball and see if you can dunk the damn thing one more time.